If you are performing SEO audit, then it's very important for you to understand what broken links are? And how they can harm your website? Let’s start with the definition, broken links are dead-links that directs to a file that is no longer available on World Wide Web. They are bad for the user experience and thus not good from an SEO viewpoint.
Just imagine you are searching for something on a site and it ends up with 404 or any other error page. Surely you’ll get annoyed and will not visit that site again. Similarly, if your visitors get bad user-experience from your website. It will directly harm your SEO efforts and as we all know bad things doesn’t take time to spread.
Google uses spiders to fetch or crawl your website for indexing and ranking. If there is any broken links on your website, it is automatically encountered by Google’s spiders and treated as a dead end. Then it tell search engines that the usability on your site is poor. Ultimately, search engines will give you a lower rank on SERP. Our experts use most effective SEO strategies to monitor broken links constantly and find them before they cause any harm.
Now, we will discuss types of broken links which I’ve mentioned below:
Internal links are the link that takes the visitor from one page to another on the same website which means the targeting page will be the same as source page. Here is an example, in which we have given internal link to campaign type and it will take visitors to different page but on the same website.
It’s easiest task to control internal links on your website. Make sure you check internal links, every time you update your website to confirm if the links are working or not. Below are the three main purpose of internal links:
• Internal links supports in website navigation
• Also establish the architecture and chain of a website
• And Spread link juice (page authority and ranking power) throughout the website
These are links that takes visitor to another website such as a blog post, white paper, info graphic, etc., which you might refer in your article. These links are not in your control and therefore, you should be careful while using these external links. Always check these links because you never know when the website owner took the link off their website.
Below is an example, in which I have referred seo audit tools and linking them there. Which is an external link as it links to the different website.
From here you must have understood that it is important to take care of both internal and external links. Because broken links not only disappoint search engines and users but it also negatively affects your trade. Also it leads to lower website traffic. Therefore, it is best to find and fix them up. Wondering how to find broken links? I’ll share some of the broken link checker tools in this article later on.
It requires a lots of time and efforts to make someone visit your website and of course nobody wants his time and efforts to be wasted by making their visitors unhappy. However, that’s exactly what could happen if the links that they are clicking on are broken. Hence, it’s very important to keep an eye on broken links.
4xx Client Request Error- Occurs due to client’s request problem.
• 400 Error: Bad Request
• 401 Error: Unauthorized
• 402 Error: Payment Required
• 403 Error: Forbidden
• 404 Error: Not Found
• 405 Error: Method Not Allowed
• 406 Error: Not Acceptable
• 407 Error: Proxy Authentication Required
• 408 Error: Request Timeout
5xx Server Error- Occurs due to server side fault.
• 501: Not Implemented
• 502: Bad Gateway
• 503: Service Unavailable
• 504: Gateway Timeout
• 505: HTTP Version Not Supported
• 506: Variant Also Negotiates
• 507: Insufficient Storage
• 509: Bandwidth Limit Exceeded
• 510: Not Extended
Your income- Broken links acts as hurdle in the conversion process. Conversion directly effects your income, you need to understand how it will affect your income? If the users are not converted as customers, then there’ll be no progressive consequence of spending time and efforts on your website. All of your time and efforts will be waste. Also you’ll start losing your customers because once a customer is doomed, they spread their annoyance with their friends and family and you’ll end up with losing more customers.
Your Bounce Rate- Bounce rate is the percentage of users to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. Those users who do not stay on your web page for certain period of time are measured as “bounced.” And if you website has higher bounce rate, search engine will consider your entire site irrelevant. Hence, it is very important to keep your visitors happy and satisfied. So that they visit your site again and have good experience.
Your Google ranking- Google spider stops the indexing process if it finds any broken links on your site. Thus, your ranking falls down on SERPs.
I’m sure the above reasons are enough for anyone to understand, how broken links can harm a website?
Now, I’m sharing some free broken links checker tools which will help you to detect dead links/broken links on your website. You must check your website at the end of every month. Below are the tool which you can use:
• Screaming Frog
• Free link checker
• W3C Link Checker
I would strictly suggest not to leave any broken links on your website. Fix, remove, or replace the discovered broken links immediately. You can have a perfectly healthy site-wide link profile with no more broken links by using one of these link checker tool.
Below are some of the main factors that cause broken links, which you should recognize to avoid broken links:
• Technical Issues
• Old Content
• Configuring the URL incorrectly
• When you delete or rename any section of website and don’t modify internal links
• Linking to other’s page and don’t have update that they have changed the URL or moved the page
Hopefully, you have find this article helpful to understand why it is important to fix broken links and what are the factors that may lead to broken links. It is very simple to check broken links on your website, use the suggested link checker tools it will help you detect broken links. So keep checking on broken links and give your best to make your website more optimized… Surely this will benefit you!
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Chanda is B.Tech Computer Science, a digital marketing enthusiast specializing in social media. Working as a search specialist at Megistron Media and has been helping clients attain their campaign goals by creating bespoke digital solutions.